06/06/2013 1:24PM

Racing Medication and Testing Consortium sign off on drugs point system for trainers


A national medication-policy group has approved a recommendation that states adopt rules that would subject trainers with multiple medication violations to additional suspensions and fines, the group, the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, announced on Thursday.

The rules, which would assign points to trainers with medication violations and base additional penalties on the number of points accrued, were finalized earlier this year with the support of a number of national racing groups. Supporters contend that the points system would reduce medication violations by subjecting trainers to harsher penalties when they repeatedly run afoul of rules for both therapeutic medications and banned drugs.

“The [points] system provides a simple and straightforward method to deal with multiple medication offenders, regardless of the violation or the location of each violation,” said Dr. Dionne Benson, the executive director of the RMTC. “This is a huge step for racing and the control of medication in our sport.”

Many racing commissions rely on the RMTC’s guidance in determining rules and regulations regarding medications. Supporters of the points system are hoping to get the rules passed in major racing jurisdictions by the end of this year, in concert with new medication guidelines that would allow for the therapeutic use of 24 drugs while treating the finding of any other drug in a post-race sample as a major violation.

The points system would apply additional suspensions and penalties to trainers above and beyond the penalty for the underlying infraction. Under the system, points for therapeutic medication infractions can be expunged from a trainer’s record, while points for banned medications would remain on a trainer’s record for life.